Global viewpoint from Cologne
A view from Yaron Galai

Global viewpoint from Cologne

This year, the world's biggest digital marketing exhibition, Dmexco, was packed with buzzing marketers, world-leading media owners and the press.

A record-breaking 43,000 visitors headed to Cologne to hear about the latest advancements and innovation being brought to the digital economy.  

A major talking point was the rise in ad-blocking. The release last week of iOS 9 has seen ad-blocking apps rocket to the top of App Store charts around the world. If we are to take anything away from this, it is the rise of consumer mistrust. Publishers and brands need to think creatively about how their advertising is offering value to their audiences rather than just being intrusive. How can this be done? By being transparent, respectful and adding value because that is how consumer trust can be rebuilt.

I had the opportunity to participate on a panel alongside people from Tumblr, AOL, Nestlé and Omnicom. The audience was packed in to hear our debate, which focused on "storytelling – entering the post-advertising era". It was a great session that discussed, among other things, how companies need to change their approach from communicating facts and figures to producing a creative, storytelling format. 

A real focus for me was looking at the evolution of advertising from interruption to providing value, exploring how content owners and marketers can create and curate content that is interesting and, ultimately, something the consumer will want to engage with time and time again. 

We also identified the tools and platforms that marketers require to scale their stories – an issue with which a lot of companies are still playing catch-up. In all, it was incredible to see how content marketing took centre stage at Dmexco and I expect that its importance will continue to dominate it and similar events for many years to come. 

A total of 881 exhibitors provided the backdrop to the discussions and sharing of ideas, and they showed us first hand Dmexco’s innate technological innovation and creativity. Anyone who was there will have noted SevenOne Media’s beautiful LED light ceiling, which shone out above the sea of quirky and unusual stands. It’s what Dmexco is all about – bringing innovation and marketing together and providing a forum for the digital community to share ideas and knowledge, and to drive our industry forward.

Yaron Galal is the co-founder and chief executive of Outbrain